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Software as a Service - Why it’s Better

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The biggest difference about simFDR that you will notice is that it’s not commercial software - it’s a service. That makes it radically different from most other flight simulation software. Because it’s so different, it’s worth explaining and having a frank conversation about our pricing and product model.


The first obvious difference is this - yes, there’s going to be an annual fee. Our pricing model has an initial subscription fee, and then an annual (significantly lower) renewal price. Unlike commercial software where you pay once, this is different.


If that’s a show stopper for you, stop here.



That different model also has some really big advantages for you, the customer. Let’s walk through some of them.


First, there’s no DRM. No wrappers, no extended download fees. When you create an account on the simFDR site, you can access every single feature of the simFDR service for free. Before you decide whether simFDR is right for you, you should be able to test every feature of simFDR. You can fly any aircraft, anywhere, for any length of time. Want to test simFDR’s memory performance on a long 16-hour flight? Absolutely!


I don’t want you to pay for simFDR until you’ve fully used your evaluation period and love it.


Second, you’re getting continual development and enhancements. Commercial software usually results in a service pack or two, then development and bug fixes cease. What happens when a new Windows version comes out? What happens when a new simulator is released? You’re either stuck with an abandoned or unsupported product, or you’re paying - again.


Once you have a simFDR subscription, our software will work on all supported flight simulators for all subscribers. When we introduce enhancements, they are available for all subscribers. We’re working on X-Plane support - when that’s released all subscribers get that functionality. Same thing with bugs and new Windows versions.


Our revenue depends on providing continual value and treating you right before and after the sale.


Third, part of the simFDR value proposition is a perpetual cloud logbook. We’ve created a redundant cloud infrastructure that ensures that your data is secure from theft or loss. We’re using AWS and some of the same vast scale software tools as Netflix, Amazon and Facebook. And while the barrier to entry is much lower than it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago - providing this service costs money.


My first logbook entry was 15 years ago, and is still there. 15 (or 25) years from now, I want you to look back and see that your first simFDR log entry remains intact. Doing so requires a stable and reliable revenue model.


(Before you ask, your data is always available, whether your subscription is active or not. simFDR is never going to lock you in or hold your data hostage. An expired subscription will prevent you from logging more flights, but it never stops you from retrieving your existing data.)

Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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